Yesterday was Easter Sunday. And, with Easter Sunday, typically comes Easter Brunch. I do not eat restaurant brunches or buffets on a regular basis for the simple reason that I nearly always consume too many calories in one sitting. And, I almost always regret the things that I’ve eaten, feeling bad the rest of the day about my choices. Well, yesterday, I was determined to change my attitude about brunch, which mostly meant changing my strategy when it came to navigating the buffet lines.
As with most brunches, there are multiple buffet lines showcasing many culinary delights like French toast, made to order omelettes, sliced ham off the bone, and a sweet table, etc. Years ago, I would divide and conquer the buffets – eating anything and everything, paying no mind to what was healthy or what really tasted good. But these days, I’m trying to approach all meals, not just buffets, in a different way. From a fitness perspective, I try to choose the things which are most healthy, or at least not competely “bad” for me.
How French Women Navigate Buffets
On the other hand, I also wonder how a French woman would approach a brunch or buffet. Well, that idea is actually an oxy moron because most women in France would never be seen at a “buffet”. However, hypothetically, if a French woman just happened to be visiting the US and was forced to go to a buffet, how would she approach it?
When it comes to a brunch buffet, I imagine that a French woman would eat how she normally eats, which means she would:
- Eat in courses
- Eat smaller portions of more things (instead of American women who tend to eat larger portions of fewer things)
- Make healthy selections covering most of the major food groups
- Include 1 or 2 indulgences, but just a taste!
A French Strategy for Sunday Brunch
With this is mind, I approached the buffet lines. I first checked out the buffets to see what they had to offer and to see what my healthiest and most delicious options would be. Then, according to my plan, I selected foods in courses, saving a few yummy desserts for last. So, let’s see how I did…
- First course: Yogurt - Plain low-fat yogurt with fresh melon, pineapple, blueberries, and granola; and a tiny plain croissant (size of a clementine).
- Second course – Salad - Romaine and mixed green lettuce with bell peppers, 2 green olives, 2 cubes of cheddar cheese, cubed chicken, 2 slices crispy bacon, and vinaigrette dressing; and 1 small pretzel roll with 1 pat of butter
- Third Course – Dessert – 1 spoonful of chocolate mousse, 1 small chocolate-covered rice crispy square, and the crunchy top layer of creme brule (the rest of the creme was not worth the calories)
It’s hard to say how many calories I consumed at the brunch, but I do know that I did not feel stuffed after the meal. I felt completely satisfied with the amount of food that I ate as well as with the choices I made. So, does this experience change my opinion of buffets? Not really, but I don’t think I will be as quick to avoid them in the future.